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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Star athlete Michael Brusnahan jailed over horrific ‘coward’ kick to man’s head

Star athlete Michael Brusnahan jailed over horrific ‘coward’ kick to man’s head

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Here's the video of this scumbag's footwork. WARNING - it's quite graphic & sickening.

Star athlete Michael Brusnahan jailed over horrific ‘coward’ kick to man’s head outside Semaphore Palais

By Andrew Hough,
The Advertiser
May 21, 2017

A CHAMPION state athlete will be behind bars for only 12 months, despite attacking two men, including wildly kicking a defenceless “good samaritan” in the head during a violent, drunken rampage, leaving him with brain damage.

Aspiring Olympic sprinter Michael Kerry Norman Brusnahan, 23, viciously assaulted several innocent victims at the Semaphore Palais hotel in 2014, before “bragging” about his crimes.

Despite the savage attacks leaving at least one victim with a life-threatening injuries, he will serve only a minimum 12 months behind bars but failed to have his identity remain a secret.

Screengrab taken from the video of Michael Brusnahan's attack on two men.

Graphic footage tendered to a court shows an abusive and aggressive Brusnahan — a former South Australian 100m champion and state athletics captain — launch the brutal, unprovoked and “thuggish” attacks.

The body-camera footage, obtained by The Advertiser, shows the horrifying moment he kicked one innocent victim’s head “like a football”, snapping his head back and sending him flying through the air before he hit his head on the concrete with a “loud, horrifying thud”.

He was unconscious for up to five minutes and was left with three fractures to the base of his skull that caused post trauma amnesia and no memory of the attack.

That man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gone to help a stranger — Brusnahan’s football club teammate — who had been “coward punched” seconds earlier as he too had attempted to defuse the fight.

The District Court heard how Brusnahan — who narrowly missed selection to last year’s Rio Olympics squad — was “spoiling for a fight” having been ejected from the northwest suburban pub after the unprovoked assault of another man and his son in the hotel toilets earlier in the night.

Michael Brusnahan left one of his victims with serious medical problems.

Michael Brusnahan competing in the 200 metres in the 2011 Adelaide Invitational at Santos Stadium.

Claiming to be heavily drunk, he remained “remarkably agile” and “imitated a boxer in the ring” as he ripped off his shirt before attacking bouncers and the good Samaritans as a violent friend watched.

He had been celebrating the end of the football season the day before his 21st birthday party amid family turmoil.

Brusnahan, an apprentice carpenter of Beverly, in Adelaide’s inner-north west, faced up to 15 years in jail after admitting recklessly cause serious harm on the eve of his trial last year.

Prosecutors, who described the attacks as among the worst they had seen, dropped a more serious “intent”-based charge.

He also pleaded guilty to seven different charges including aggravated and basic assault, damage property and affray.

Jailing him for three years and six months — with a “much shorter than usual non-parole period” of 12 months because of his age and prospects of rehabilitation — Judge Wayne Chivell laid bare in harrowing detail the events of September 19, which he said could have ended in death.

On Friday, the judge banned publication of the victim’s identity but rejected the athlete’s bid to remain anonymous.

Brusnahan, who is friends with some of the biggest names in Australian athletics, was further jailed for eight months one week and four days for each of the other charges, to be served concurrently.

Michael Brusnahan, a champion South Australian sprinter, has been jailed for assaulting two men outside the Semaphore Palais Hotel in September 2014.

The kicking victim, 22, of the western suburbs, suffered a “moderate to severe” brain injury that has left him with serious medical problems, highly traumatised and stressed.

The judge said while Brusnahan was young and remorseful — he issued a public courtroom apology — and had good rehabilitation prospects, jail was the only option as the “community abhors violence to such an extent that it regards deterrence of it as essential”.

He also took into account several references from coaches, colleagues and family who described their shock at the talented athlete’s crimes.

“It is not being overly dramatic to observe that it is pure luck that you are not facing a murder charge here today. It has happened many times before that (and) that was the outcome,” he said.

“Mr Brusnahan, your behaviour that night was appalling. You king-hit two men in the toilet for no apparent reason. You fought with security officers whose job it was to try to keep order. You goaded and abused them and they showed admirable restraint. You assaulted two of them.

“You king-hit a man from your own football club who tried to defuse the situation. He hit his head on the pavement. You had ample time at several stages during the evening to withdraw but you refused.

Michael Brusnahan attacks his first victim.

“Your companion, as badly as he behaved, tried to pull you away several times but you persisted, and then finally you consciously and without provocation kicked in the head a man who had come to the aid of another man, causing him life-threatening injuries. Such behaviour is intolerable.”

He added: “The community condemns the behaviour of young men who commit so-called coward punches in the course of alcohol-fuelled violence … (which) young men have died as a result.

“Others have suffered permanent disabling injuries, as (the kicking victim) appears to have done in this case.

Michael Brusnahan grapples with security outside the Semaphore Palais.

“Clearly, my main task is to do what I can to deter or discourage you and other young men from acting in this way.

“Whatever you were upset about that night, you allowed yourself to behave in this way and inflict violence and aggression on people who represented no threat to you and played no part in what was distressing you.

“This was a tragedy for all involved. The terrible consequences of your actions, however, cannot now be overlooked.”

The kicking victim’s family declined to comment as did Brusnahan’s.

The 23-year-old - an apprentice carpenter by day - is also a talented state champion athlete who narrowly missed out on Rio Olympics selection

This violence must stop, pleads mother
THE mother of the man kicked in the head during elite runner Michael Brusnahan’s drunken rampage urged the sentencing judge to consider the “desperate need for incidents like this to stop”.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, laid bare her trauma after her son suffered life-threatening injuries when he helped a stranger outside the Semaphore Palais hotel in September 2014.

“As parents, we are constantly worried,” she said in a pre-sentencing victim impact statement to the District Court.

“I am concerned for the safety of all young people and the risk of them being injured or worse, because of reckless behaviour and alcohol-fuelled violence. We thank god that our son was one of the luckier ones.

“We ask the court to consider the desperate need for incidents like this to stop. Our communities should be safe places for our children to grow up and live in. If there are no consequences for committing such acts then there will be no decline in these types of (alcohol-fuelled violent) incidents.”

The mother-of-three told Judge Wayne Chivell how her son, now 22, had undergone a personality transformation after hitting his head on the concrete from Brusnahan’s “football-style” kick.

He was a “very easy going, sociable, friendly, patient, active and adventurous” man, but now battles anger, patience, and communication problems. He has no memory of the incident, which also caused his three-year relationship to collapse. She has given up her dream career and works two jobs to support him through his rehabilitation.

The woman now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression while his father is frustrated and angry.

“The late-night phone call will stay with us forever,” she said. “Everything changed from that moment on — emotionally, physically and mentally. Our son is changed forever due to the brain damage he suffered that night. Everyone feels angry, frustrated and helpless about what happened.

“I do not think Mr Brusnahan is at all aware of how extensively the consequences of his actions have affected and impacted on our entire family. Because of his reckless behaviour my son’s quality of life has changed and it is permanent.”

In his own victim impact statement, the man told how his severe brain injury has left him “confused, stressed, frustrated and on edge”. He has just returned to work.


What a sickening & disgusting news story. He should be in jail for a lot longer than 12 months. The sentence is pitiful.

I'd like to know who in ASA or at St Peters AC knew about this yet still used Brusnahan as the 'face' of their Sprint Cup promotion last season.

This incident happened in 2014 and as the footage is so graphic and confirms his guilt, he should not have been put up as the pin up boy of athletics.

A certain fathead coach should be admonished for harbouring a thug and also if it's true he offered a bullshit reference about the thug being a potential Olympian. What a disgrace and a bunch of fricken hypocrites.

A poor innocent young bloke has to live with partial brain damage for the rest of his life while this scumbag was able to use athletics as a safe haven.

ASA needs to ban this thug for life and if the fathead coach knew about this prior to the start of the 2016/17 season, but chose not to advise ASA nor his club, he should cop some sort of penalty.

"Let's Go While We're Young"


The Adelaide Advertiser has an editorial in today's paper relating to this incident, condemning the behaviour and criticising the leniency of the sentence.

Make no mistake this thug has been involved in previous incidents of unprovoked attacks & street violence before and been lucky he's escaped the ramifications of his behaviour. This time the karma bus has caught up with him...although I don't think 12 months for such a horrendous act is sufficient.

It would be interesting to know who from the SA coaching fraternity offered character references. I'm tipping they'll keep that quiet.

I hope we've seen the last of him in athletics.



Sprinter Michael Brusnahan has jail term doubled after vicious assault at Semaphore hotel

By court reporter Candice Prosser
ABC News
8th September 2017

A South Australian state sprinter, who violently assaulted multiple people at a beachside hotel, has had his non-parole period more than doubled after a prosecution appeal.

Key points:
•Michael Brusnahan's assault included a forceful kick to a man's head
•He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years with a 12-month non parole
•His sentence was appealed and his non-parole period extended to two-and-a-half years

Michael Brusnahan was 20 years old when he kicked and punched patrons and security officers at the Semaphore Palais Hotel in September 2014.

The Court of Criminal Appeal heard that during an alcohol-fuelled rage Brusnahan first assaulted a father and son in the hotel bathroom, without provocation, punching one in the jaw and the second in the eye.

He then attacked a security officer as he was being escorted from the premises, punching the officer in the face with such force it broke his earpiece, the court was told.

Brusnahan kicked another security officer in the leg, then "adopted a boxing stance with closed fists and threw punches at security officers who continued to block his movement towards the hotel entrance".

A man on Brusnahan's football team then tried to intervene to calm him down, but the court heard while that man had his back to Brusnahan and was talking to security guards Brusnahan attacked him without warning.

"[Brusnahan] without warning ran up to [the victim] and with a round arm punch hit him to the side of the head," the judgment said.

"[The victim] spun around and fell backwards from the force of the punch, hitting his head on the pavement."

Victim kicked in head 'with full force'

The court heard Brusnahan then attacked another man who rushed to the aid of the victim who was lying on the ground.

"He then strode purposefully towards [the victim] and kicked him to the face with what the Judge described as a football style kick with full force," the judgment said.

"[The victim] was not looking or protecting himself in any way and there was no forewarning.

"[The victim's] head snapped backwards and he fell to the ground, striking his head on the pavement."

That victim suffered skull fractures, internal bleeding to the brain and a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to work.

The court heard Brusnahan was distressed by his parents "acrimonious" separation and news that his grandfather, who he was very close to, was dying.

"These incidents were said to have distressed [Brusnahan] and to have contributed to his very unsettled state of mind on the night," the judgment said.

Brusnahan 'deeply regretted' assault

The court heard Brusnahan "deeply regretted" his offending, which was described as out of character.

"[Brusnahan] excelled at sports from a young age, in particular athletics and football," the judgment said.

"He is a talented sprinter and has represented South Australia at national level on numerous occasions.

"Character references before the judge describe [Brusnahan] as showing great dedication to his training and to his support for and mentorship of other young athletes."

Brusnahan was originally sentenced to three-and-a-half years' jail with a non-parole period of 12 months, but the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the sentence arguing it was manifestly inadequate.

Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Justice Ann Vanstone and Justice Kevin Nicholson unanimously agreed, allowing the appeal and overturning Brusnahan's original sentence.

The court instead imposed a sentence of five years with a non-parole period of two-and-a-half years.  Very Happy

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